FINALLY!

I’m so happy to see an official way to go back and forth between iCal and gCal (Google Calendar) for free!
http://lifehacker.com/5100841/calaboration-syncs-ical-and-google-calendar-with-ease

What is the big deal you ask? Well, using gCal to share a calendar is super easy and super useful. Having a central locale for people to see events helps so much at school. But updating it is easier for me through iCal. This is especially true if I’m updating from an email in Apple Mail where just one click it goes from email to iCal to gCal is very cool.

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Youtube…For School and Saving the Videos

First off, read this article here about using Youtube in the classroom.  If you are still interested comeback here to learn about downloading video from Youtube (Yes, legally).

OK, you’re back now?  Good.  Saving video from Youtube is pretty easy.  In fact, there are a lot of different ways to do it.  I’m going to recommend using Keepvid.com

First step, find a video on Youtube.

picture-31Copy the URL (address of the video) and go to Keepvid.com and past the Youtube URL into the appropriate box.

Ctrl+Click (or Right Click) on the Download (MP4) and save to your computer.  Once it downloads you will have your video to play whenever and where ever.  

You can take the video and then embed it into a PowerPoint presentation you are planning to do as well.

Smart Folders…Staying Organized

Have you seen my desk lately?  It is a little embarrassing at times. Papers that have been “organized” into piles.  You can imagine what can happens with all of the files on your computer.  But with the MacBooks there is a solution.  Now, the proper thing to do would be to have folders set up and be sure to file things properly.  But now we don’t have to.  We can use Smart Folders.  These folders allow you to set certain conditions so that the Smart Folder will only show the types of files you are looking for.  For example, you can create a folder that will only show your files labeled TEST or QUIZ.  Now this folder doesn’t actually contain any files but finds the files that you want.  Confused?  It makes more sense to see it and try it for yourself.

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Select New Smart Folder from the Finder.  In the window that appears next click on the “+” and choose what kind of files and keywords you want to show up in that Smart Folder.  You can set the folder to find text files, powerpoints or any other types of files with any keywords you want.  Save the Smart Folder and place it where ever you like.  From now on just open the Smart Folder to display the contents.

Please give this a try or contact me if you need some help.

SAMR…A Model for technology Integration

Below is a model being used the MLTI folks to help illustrate the levels and purpose of technology integration.  I am merely suggesting it as a starting point for our discussions about technology and why or how we use it.

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Here we see a model to illustrate how three areas of knowledge converge to better understand technology integration.  Please feel free to discuss.  PLEASE, also share you own personal thoughts, frustrations and successes when using technology.


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Technology Forms

Technology Forms
Below you will find links to forms to help improve technology use.
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If You REALLY Want Office on Your Mac

I have to be honest. I don’t understand the hang up people have about MS Office. I understand the familiarity we have for things but come one people! Well, if the main reason you’re not using your MacBook is the lack of Office I might have an answer.

It is true that the MacBooks have NeoOffice as a MS Office substitute but it’s not quite the same. I actually prefer TextEdit for word processing and Keynote for presentations. If you are adamant about have an office like suite before you will use your MacBook take a look at OpenOffice.org.

This free MS Office alternative as been adopted by school districts and state governments as their defacto office suite. It is pretty darn good.

If you are feeling brave you can go to OpenOffice.org and download and install it yourself or contact me for help.

Google Docs and Forms

This is a non-Mac related post. Google, the ubiquitous search engine, also has a lot of other tricks up its sleeve. With a free Google Docs Account you can use Google’s own online word processor and spreadsheet programs. These work like traditional programs but work through a web browser. The advantage with these is the ability to share documents with anyone over the internet. An extension of these tools is Google Forms. This set of tools let you set up a form like a survey or feedback form. The results from this form gets places nicely into a spreadsheet. All you need to share the form is to send a link out via email or post to another website. These tools lend themselves well setting up an online quiz or class feedback form. I’ve set up one here. It’s a little rough but functional. Below you will find a video from YouTube that demonstrates what I so poorly described here.

Here is what the results look like as they are updated by those who fill out the forms.